Battlegrounds is still making truckloads of money

PUBG: Battlegrounds (once known as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) is still growing in revenue five years after its 2017 release. This week the Seoul-based developer Krafton released its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2022, reporting increased revenue and profit despite a rough stock market debut back in August.

In the company’s first quarter, it earned $405.7 million in revenue and $190.2 million in net profit. According to the company, revenue rose 13.5 percent from the same quarter last year.

It also described this as “record revenue” for the company. Though Krafton publishes other games beyond the PUBG franchise, it credited the console, PC, and mobile versions of the game for this quarter’s performance

Apparently the transition of PUBG: Battlegrounds to free-to-play in January 2022 drove a number of legacy players to return to the game. The total number of monthly average users tripled from the prior quarter, and the number of paying users increased by “two-fold.”

PUBG: Mobile raked in $301 million in revenue during the quarter, an increase of 5 percent over the same quarter in 2021. Krafton noted that the release of Battlegrounds Mobile India, a special version of PUBG: Mobile for the country of India, was a major part of its international success this financial period.

Like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and other multiplayer games of late, Krafton has been driving in-game spending with a number of IP crossovers, including other games like NiER and Warframe, but also animated fads like Baby Shark.

Though PUBG is the king of Krafton’s cash for the moment, it will likely soon be joined by a new game from Subnautica developer Unknown Worlds, which Krafton purchased back in October 2021

Krafton’s good financial results might be slightly clouded by the creeping increase of restrictions on playtime and other forms of online engagement in nearby China. Chinese corporation Tencent is heavily invested in Krafton, and new regulations and restrictions might impact the company’s business strategy. 

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